Video: Practice Makes Perfect as Dai Yoshihara Preps for Pikes Peak
Months of car preparation, driver training and track testing have led up to this week’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and it’s time for ENEOS-sponsored driver and 2011 Formula DRIFT champion Dai Yoshihara to shine.
After competing in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia series at Suzuka Circuit in Japan, Dai returned to the US to take advantage of the crucial final days of practice before Sunday’s main event.
Without skipping a beat, Dai met the Evasive Motorsports crew on the Colorado mountain. They had the #86 ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports / Turn 14 Distribution Toyota 86 fully dialed-in upon his arrival and it had passed the official tech inspection.
Each practice day will prove to be challenging in its own way, requiring drivers and teams to be up early (3AM in freezing cold temps and high altitude) and dealing with potential weather issues. But as of now, Dai is in great shape.
DAY 1 PRACTICE
For the first day of official practice, Evasive’s Mike Chang reports that Dai was able to complete a few runs of the upper section of the course, which concludes at the hill’s summit. “Although he made three passes, bad road conditions have forced us to change ride height settings. Dai drove great, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement and more time to gain before Sunday.”
Since practice typically starts and ends fairly early, Dai and the team used the rest of the day to eat a proper meal and do more homework, including watching videos of the practice runs and study data. Then it’s off to bed early for another early riser.
DAY 2 PRACTICE
Although the first day of practice went well, Day 2 went even better. Evasive’s suspension changes proved to be successful, and the team also fitted new tires, replacing the previous set that had become heat-cycled. Mike told is, “The combination of new tires and [Dai] getting more comfortable on the course helped him improve his times. Today he’s five seconds quicker than he was a week ago in practice!”
Not only is Dai faster than ever, but he also qualified Second in his group! “Tomorrow’s goal: we need to get as much seat time as possible and collect more data, then it’s time to kick some serious ass,” Mike laughed.
As we inch closer to the final day of practice and on to the main race, you can look back at the early phases of Dai and Team Evasive working testing the #86 ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports / Turn 14 Distribution Toyota 86 at Buttonwillow and Pikes Peaks in the first episode of Dai’s race to the clouds below.